Working Out as a Much Needed Distraction

My heart is heavy. Last night I sent my husband a text stating that I felt ruined. That I didn’t want to get to know another man or another lover. I only wanted him. He did not respond.

This morning my dad awoke after another difficult night. He sleeps with oxygen and he is really bothered by the nose thing and he feels he is not getting much sleep with it. There is a terrible gurgling in his chest when he breathes. He can hardly walk from his chair to the kitchen and he is unbalanced; I fear he will fall with each step.

Bless his heart he got up at 8 a.m. and went to the 9 a.m. water aerobics. When I pulled in at about 10:15 I saw him walking to his truck with his bag and his adidas slippers on and tears popped out of my eyes. I sat in the car and cried for a couple of minutes and then forced myself to stop. When he drove by me I asked him how it went and he said, “Great.”

We don’t want to worry other people, do we? It’s in our nature, especially as parents.

But I am a daddy’s girl and I feel my father’s experience with COPD (emphysema) will be the biggest challenge I will need to face in my lifetime. He’s the strong man who could do anything. He’s the man to whom no other man can compare.

I warmed up for about ten minutes in the deep pool as I touched base with my older friend, Betty, and then I grabbed my cap and goggles to go to the lap pool. In the first lap I lost an ear plug and thought perhaps I could manage without that one, but no, I can’t abide that feeling of water tickling me deep in my ear. So I thought I could do what I’ve done a million times before in my life as a kid and young person and pull myself out of the pool to go get another earplug out of my bag.

Of course I felt as if every eye in the pool were on me as I clumsily put my knee down on this plastic grating at the pool’s edge that hurt like crazy and somehow get up on two feet. I’ll never do that again. My god it was effortless when I was young.

I returned to the pool and for at least three laps I struggled with getting the earplug to properly fit in my left ear. For a few moments I felt like just getting out, going to my car, and crying for an hour, but the earplug finally felt sealed and I was able to start the workout.

I wonder if there is a swimmer’s high. I’m sure there must be. Why wouldn’t there be? I’ve never experienced runner’s high, but if feel I might know what swimmer’s high feels like. It’s well past the warm up when the body is amped up, firing on all cylyinders and you feel as though you not only can’t stop, but you don’t want to. At least that’s what it feels like for me. Tired, but on automatic. In a zone in a lane.

What I think is great is that I’m no athlete, I haven’t even been working out for very long, and I’m still 70 pounds overweight, but I get to experience that high or peace or whatever it is. And that’s incredibly  wonderful.

I was in that pool for over an hour but had that rough start at the beginning. I then went to the deep pool to do some ab exercises but only stayed there about 20 minutes. I feel I can’t be alone with my thoughts right now and it seemed easier to do mindless laps than to make myself think of my deep water exercises.

I’ve been meaning to write about a slight change in my swimming movements that I discovered on my own last Friday. I rotated my body a bit more so that my reach was longer and it just felt comfortable and made sense to me. Then I wondered if it was considered “bad form” and I toned it down a bit. To my amazement later that day I stumbled upon this article and it totally validates my experience!

“Most swimmers propel themselves with their arms and legs as if they were a surfboard with four appendages,” says Gary Hall, M.D., a three-time Olympian and director of stroke technique forThe Race Club in Islamorada, FL. By remaining relatively flat in the water, you miss out on a major source of power, he adds. Rotating your body side to side can add speed by getting your core and latissimus dorsi (the largest and broadest back muscle) into your stroke, increasing your arms’ pulling strength. Plus as the pull begins in front of your shoulder, your body is counter-rotating, creating a force or anchor for your hand to pull against.

Read the full article here at Shape.

It sets up a nice rhythm and feels natural so I am adding it to the things I concentrate on as I do the freestyle. I’m so grateful to find tidbits like that that are making my swim workout more effective or more comfortable.

On the other hand, I came across this article in FitBottomedGirls which claims, “You can’t have it all.

Here’s what I mean. When it comes to workouts, you can do one of three things: you can lose weight, you can get stronger or you can get faster. But, sorry, most of the time, you can’t do all three of them — or even two of them — at the same time. It stinks, I know. But it’s true! And the faster you come to grips with it, the sooner you can focus on the positives.

I think I’m missing her point because the author did not make her point well, but I know that my swimming helps me to lose weight and become stronger and possibly faster as well. So I just have to disagree with that statement. My goal with my regime of healthy eating and swimming is obviously to lose weight but in a way that helps me build or keep muscles.

I am amazed I am able to continue my workouts and healthy eating since I am so distracted by my father’s health and my husband’s indifference, but it’s as though I have no choice. It’s the only thing that will save me in the coming weeks and months.

I don’t plan to go to the yoga class tonight. I feel that I will buy the class and then quit it. I am not turned off on yoga at all, just this particular class.


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